Ryan Choi

Thesis title: On the Writings of the Traitor Literati: Newspapers, Diaries, and Literary Periodicals in Hong Kong during Japanese Occupation, 1941-1945


Ryan Choi is a current PhD student in Chinese. He received a BA in Chinese and BEd in Chinese Language Education from the University of Hong Kong, as well as an MA in Chinese Literature from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). During his undergraduate degree, he studied at Fudan University for a semester, where he studied Classical Chinese and Chinese linguistics.

Before starting his PhD, he worked as a Chinese literature and language teacher in both local and international schools in Hong Kong and London. He now works as a language consultant for companies and organisations like Banco Santander, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone,  El Corte Inglés, and Plan International Spain.

Current research interests

Ryan Choi's PhD research focuses on analysing documentary and literary texts published in newspapers, periodicals, as well as personal documents from Hong Kong during the Japanese invasion and occupation of 1941–45. This research probes the implementation of the Imperial Japanese government's cultural and literary policies in Hong Kong, and analyses the equivocal nature of the writings of the alleged traitor literati such as Ye Lingfeng and Lu Mengshu. Since this project involves extensive use of archival materials, he has been collecting relevant newspapers, letters, periodicals, diaries, post cards (hagaki) from that time period.

Past research interests

Ryan Choi's past research interests focused on Sinophone literature, especially modern and contemporary literature of Hong Kong and Taiwan. During his postgraduate studies at SOAS, he conducted research on Imperial Subject literature in Taiwan under the Kōminka Movement, and the writing of diaspora and disease in Queer Sinophone literature, with a particular focus on works by Pai Hsien-yung. His MA dissertation is titled 'Narrating Diaspora and Disease in a Cosmopolitan Fairyland: Pai Hsien-yung’s Danny Boy and Tea for Two'